The Netherlands can set their sights very high after beating the USA
The United States and their “Boys” are coming home. Despite the promise and potential seen on Qatar’s turf during this World Cup, we won’t shy away from the idea that a country that continues to talk about “soccer” has a thing or three to learn before it can compete with an old team. powers of football.
Holland is one. On Saturday, December 3, Al-Rayyan, New Amsterdam taught New York (3-1) in the first round of the round of 16 of this World Cup. Above all, a lesson in realism and a message for the competition: Louis van Gaal and his players go straight to the point without worrying too much about whether they are the prettiest.
If the sight of the orange jersey still conjures up fantasies of the Cruyff years among the over-50s, in 2022 the Dutch footballer no longer wears long hair or the idea of total football. If this technical note still exists, it gives efficiency above all else. And this is just the beginning. “We always want to improve and since the tournament started it has been getting better every game.Dutch defense boss Virgil van Dijk warns. We scored fantastic goals. »
“Care” for Depay
The first quarter of the hour summed up the qualities of this team well. From a lost American ball, the Oranje carry the iron with quick passes, concessional rounds that we guess worked and Memphis Depay’s perfect finish (10).e). “We have to take care of him, he’s incredibly important”before the meeting, Van Gaal warned about his striker, who suffered a thigh injury at the end of September and barely recovered.
Since the start of the tournament, the former Lyonnais left the lights and goals (three) to Cody Gakpo. The PSV Eindhoven prodigy did not score on Saturday, with his next club in the mixed zone, which some journalists are more interested in than a World Cup match. The man of the match is called Denzel Dumfries.
Despite his name, the guy doesn’t film but assists: one for Depay and another for Daley Blind before the break. But the right piston also knows how to get the job done. Five minutes after the goal of America’s hope, Dumfries scored with his left foot to kill the start of the American revolution on a missed Madger (a backhand goal) that turned into an unstoppable lob by Haji Wright. Detached and smiling, the Inter player sparked a tactical debate about this defense with a three (or five) during the opposition’s attack.
In a country where the 4-3-3 could be enshrined in the Constitution, this choice poses a problem despite the exceptional results achieved since the return of Louis van Gaal in August 2021. “There is a lot of criticism about our system in Holland because most teams defend with four teams. But in the goals we scored today, I assisted Daly [Blind], the other side, and it makes me one of myself. So today we have demonstrated the qualities of the system and we hope it will continue. »
Make way for the Argentinian obstacle?
At the age of 71, the Dutch coach will not start denying his views. What else can you expect from a man who can declare “Louis van Gaal has nothing more to learn”An evening that didn’t qualify for the 2022 World Cup? “It’s always the same story, so I’m used to it and I think my players are used to it too., he whispered about critics at a press conference the day before. We will calmly continue on our way. »
Barring an Australian exploit in the evening, this route takes Lionel Messi and his teammates into the quarter-finals. The Argentina shirt evokes mixed feelings for the Dutch. There is that legendary goal by Dennis Bergkamp in Marseille 1998 to send his team to the semi-finals, but the Netherlands have also lost one of their three world finals in 1978 against the Albiceleste in Buenos Aires.
Luis van Gaal, he did not forget the fight against Argentina that could have been eliminated in the semi-finals eight years ago. But the man neither reneged on his promise to his wife to retire under the Portuguese sun, nor did he fight prostate cancer to stop it so well. “I have been saying for a year: we can become world champions. I’m not saying we will be, but we can.”, he said on Saturday. His team in Qatar looks like him at the moment: confident, impervious to criticism and ready to finally enter the closed club of world champions.
Our selection of articles on the 2022 World Cup
Find all our content on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar from November 20 to December 18.
- Know everything: Schedule, results, standings, “unofficial” guide to the 2022 World Cup
- Investigation: France-Qatar, a friendship full of resources
- To analyze: Reasons for concern
- Editorial: Extreme World Cup
- Decryption: Football players’ subtle speech on human rights
- Story: A very political “World Cup”
- Report: In Qatar’s “engine room” where immigrant workers live that Doha does not want to see
- Podcast: Environment, human rights, corruption: why the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is a problem
- Investigation: World Cup award to Qatar: Sarkozy, Platini and PSG takeover at center of French justice probe
- Video: A “carbon neutral” World Cup? What is behind Qatar’s baseless promises?
- Tribune (Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International) : Gianni Infantino tries to absolve FIFA of any responsibility by calling for ‘focus on football’